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Ansvarlig avdeling:
Fakultet for informasjonsteknologi, ingeniørfag og økonomi
Sondre Lindahl
½ år

SFB51720 Propaganda in the era of social media (Vår 2021)

Emnet er tilknyttet følgende studieprogram

Optional course in the Bachelor's Programme in International Communication for students belonging to class 2019-2022.


4th semester (spring).

Studentens læringsutbytte etter bestått emne

The candidate:

  • is familiar with the role of propaganda in a number of historical and contemporary socio-political contexts.

  • has sound knowledge of methodological questions associated with the study of propaganda, including the use of social media.


The candidate has:

  • an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject and to undertake independent research

  • an ability to analyse the impact of persuasive communication techniques on wider domestic and international political decision-making and the ways in which the political establishment strives to control media output.

  • an ability to use, and thereby to understand and analyse, social media to create and disseminate propaganda.


General competence
The candidate has:

  • a critical awareness of propaganda devices, including images of war and suffering.

  • a reflexive understanding of the dynamics of the military-media relationship in times of war

  • an awareness of how propaganda affects political decisions and public discourse.


Propaganda is a term most people are familiar with, often used to describe how authoritarian regimes communicate. However, propaganda has long been one of the most important instruments of political practice and communication. It was an important battleground in the Cold War, and propaganda has in recent years regained scholarly attention due to the advent of social media and debates regarding “fake news”. The Internet allows for widespread use of propaganda, and it is thus important to engage with, and acquire the tools to understand, how propaganda works. This course traces the development of propaganda research over the last century up to the present day. The primary aim is to discover continuities and ruptures in order to conceptualise information strategies against the background of current conflicts, security issues and media developments. The course is unique and combines cutting-edge research on war, terrorism and extremism with the study on propaganda and communication. Topics include:

  • Propaganda and Persuasion: Essential Definitions & Historical Contexts

  • Propaganda by the Deed: Terrorism, Right-Wing Extremism and the War on Terror

  • The role of the Mass Social Media: Print, Film, Radio and the Internet

Undervisnings- og læringsformer

Lectures and active student participation in presentations and team work. The language used is English.


The course will give the student approximately 280 hours of work.

Arbeidskrav - vilkår for å avlegge eksamen

  • One written assignment. Students will have to create their own piece of propaganda. It could be in the form of a video, article, posters, pictures and social media posts. Students can either complete the assignment individually or in groups of 2 to 4 students.

The coursework must be approved before signing up for the final exam.


  • The exam consists of an individual home exam which must be comprised of approximately 4500 words, excluding front matter, list of contents and bibliography. In the written exam students have to analyse the piece of propaganda they made in the coursework assignment utilising the curriculum and academic sources.

Grading system: A-F.


Two internal examiners or one internal and one external examiner.

Evaluering av emnet

The course is evaluated by the students each semester in accordance with HiØ's quality procedures.


The reading list may be subject to change before the semester starts.

Farkas, Johan, Schou, Jannick, Neumayer, Christina, 2018. Cloaked Facebook pages: Exploring fake Islamist propaganda in social media. New Media & Society, May, Vol. 20(5), pp.1850-1867.

Ferrera, Emilio, 2017. Contagion dynamics of extremist propaganda in social networks. Information Sciences, December, Vol.418-419, pp.1-12.

Jowett, G.S. and O'Donnell, V. 2015 Propaganda & Persuasion. London: SAGE. 6th ed.

Sist hentet fra Felles Studentsystem (FS) 28. nov. 2021 05:20:10